Monday, 19 April 2010

Rules Tweak: Morale Redesign

I had always wanted to streamline my morale rules.

In an online conversation with 'Za Rodinu' on the WW2Talk Forum, he mentioned some morale related percentage figures for the Spearhead rules that he uses.

Usually when one tests a unit one has to work out the unit strength & its losses then adjust for a multiplicity of criteria, some of which will always apply (eg: 'orders require an advance' or 'elite unit') and then consult a chart to determine the units actions. Its always nice to use the same dice rolling method for every aspect of a game anyway, so a bit of a rewrite was called for.

I wanted each unit to have a variable morale level which would fluctuate throughout a game. The confidence of the unit would be decreased (or increased, I suppose) initially by its troop quality and later by its casualties, combat history and enforced withdrawals but may equally be fortifed, in real engagements, by its perseverance in the face of adversity (in game terms, by getting lucky dice rolls in its morale tests). For solo games, the Morale Level of the unit could be displayed nearby on a numbered token making record-keeping unneccesary (or noted down elsewhere in multiplayer games). The small amount of record-keeping would greatly offset the time normally spent bean counting.

However, try as I might, mulling over formulae and sketch graphs once more, I could not arrive at a mathematical model which suited my requirements. Therfore using the Paint program I drew up a graphical representation of all of the morale results so that by reading along the Morale Level axis and up the Morale Dice Roll axis, the intersection gives you the troop reaction.

Playtesting has proved that this is a workable tool...

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Rules Tweak: Small Arms Group Fire Rule

With an ever increasing number of foot units (although it is unlikely I will ever have enough compared to my total AFV strength) I decided to devise a method of resolving infantry combat en masse.
I had come across this sort of thing many years ago at the wargaming club in Cornwall when I had a go with a 15mm English Civil War game. I have no idea what rules they were using & I am sure it is a fairly common game mechanic where one has a block of troops attacking another block of troops at essentially the same range throughout.
HMGs are excluded from the method (which I originally called 'Volley Fire') because of their difference in effectiveness both in terms of range & hitting power. Rifle Groups & LMGs (Bren, Hotchkiss, MG34) differ only very slightly in my rules against unarmoured targets so these were all made identical at very little cost to any unique characteristics of the weapons, besides, rifles & LMGs are the standard weapons common to all infantrymen. (AP capability of weapons involved was preserved for use using individual Direct Fire.)
Average probabilities of destroying and suppressing targets for small arms at each range bracket were calculated in an Excel table for ease of calculating the multiples of firing elements and a table of adjustments to these figures was devised for use with the usual percentile dice roll.

Integration with the main rules was complete when I realised that my existing rather unsatisfactory 'Suppressing Fire' rules (which used different mental arithmetic compared to other types of fire) could be replaced with very little adaption by the 'Volley Fire' method.
'Volley Fire' was renamed 'Suppressing Fire' and the whole concept tidied up quite nicely.